Table of Contents
Some exercises require an athlete to focus on form, timing, and strength for the lift to be successful. The XPO Trainer Sled 2.0, on the other hand, requires power and perseverance. Just lower your head, grab the handles, and push until you cannot push anymore. This is the type of workout where there are no excuses and no bad form. With the Trainer Sled 2.0, it is you against yourself as you increase your strength, power, and stamina.
The XPO Trainer Sled 2.0 works a little differently than your average sled. In fact, it is so different that this sled is on wheels and does not require weights to increase resistance. The front wheel utilizes a reverse drive motor that causes tension on the chain which is actually the only form of resistance on the sled. In fact, the small amount of weight that you can add to the middle of the XPO sled is strictly for traction, not for resistance. The motor on the front wheel actually increases resistance as force is applied to the sled. What that means is that the harder and faster you push, the more resistance is applied by the sled.
The XPO 2.0 is not a “sled” in the traditional sense of the word. Because the new design actually increases the resistance the harder and faster you push the XPO Sled ideal for trainers, physical therapists, and athletes of all levels. It is perfect for trainers because you do not have to change a thing to make this product useful for all of your clients. Set it down in front of an 80-year-old who is working out for the first time and they will get as much out of it as a world-class Crossfitter. It is perfect for physical therapists because it will allow your clients to work as hard as they can or to just get their walking form back. Finally, it is ideal for athletes of all levels because there is no guesswork. You just push and the machine does the rest.
Being on wheels, this sled will work on any surface and in any environment. If you are looking for an addition to your home gym, this sled will take your workouts to the next level. If you own a gym and want something new that will challenge your clients, this sled will humble even the strongest athlete. If you are a physical therapist, the XPO Trainer Sled 2.0 will adapt to the fitness level and/or injury level of your client. As far as being adaptable, there are few pieces of equipment like this one and it would be useful in almost any workout environment.
The biggest changes from the original (see our full review of the Original XPO Trainer Sled here) are centered around maintenance issues. On the front wheel there is now a removable chain guard which makes it easier to replace or repair the chain on the front wheel. Since this is where all of the resistance comes from, it is important that it is fixable. There is also now a spring-loaded chain tensioner on the front wheel. On the previous model, it was necessary to move the front wheel back and forth to add tension to the chain. That was resolved by adding the spring-loaded mechanism.
On the frame itself, new tubing was used to make it sturdier and stiffer than it was before. The frame does not add to or take away from the resistance of the machine, but it is necessary for it to remain stiff to provide stability to the athlete.
As far as the back wheels and handles go, there were a couple of key changes. The first is that the valve stem on the two back tires is now more accessible if it is running low on air. The second is that the handles are now mounted to the rear of the backside tubing. This was a minor change, but it was helpful in that the athlete is now further away from the back bar making it less likely that a long stride would twist an ankle on that bar.
The XPO Trainer sled is tough and durable, but at the same time smooth and silent. It is a well-built product with steel tubing, a spring-loaded chain tensioner, and sturdy wheels. At the same time, the fact that it uses wheels rather than metal sledding means that it will not damage anything in its path and it will maintain a much more quiet ride.
One of the best things about this equipment is that it is easy to setup and even easier to use. Assembly is minimal because much of the machine is put together when you receive it. On top of that, because of the design, there is very little to do once the machine is assembled. With other pieces of equipment there are settings that have to be changed, weight that has to added or taken off, and at least some guesswork when those changes take place. With the XPO Trainer Sled, all you have to do is push. The machine takes care of the rest, even if the strongest person in the gym is following their Grandmother’s workout, no changes are necessary.
Another strength of this sled is that it is an extremely tough workout, but you can make it easier or less difficult depending on how much you want to push. If you are serious about gaining strength and power, the harder and faster you push this machine, the more resistance it will give you. There are no excuses about having the wrong grip or the wrong weight, it is up to you to make this sled work. Similar to an air bike, where the harder you pedal the more resistance is caused by the wind, there is a resistance chain connected to the front wheel that will immediately add resistance no matter how hard you push. If you want to improve, you can. At the same time if you slack off, your lack of gains will be on you.
If you are using this as part of a home or garage gym then the portability and relatively lightweight of the XPO sled will be very valuable to you. In fact, my XPO sled is hanging on a hook on my wall as I type this. It is easy to take the handles out, light enough to lift, and compact enough to put almost anywhere.
When you purchase the XPO sled, there is another huge cost that you will be saving versus traditional sleds...The cost of plates. Only on slick surfaces do you need to use weights to weigh down the back, and on most surfaces, they’re not necessary. In fact, unless you have a personal coach like Rocky Balboa who will stand on the sled for you, when you purchase most sleds on the market, you can almost double the cost immediately with the weight that you need to make it useful. With the XPO sled, there are no additional costs, just put the sled on the ground and push.
Finally, the ease of maneuverability in the XPO Sled is light years better than a somewhat similar wheeled sled that we’ve reviewed, the Torque Fitness TANK Sled. It is easier on your joints, your wallet (as mentioned above), and the ground below you. You can push it anywhere and the resistance only changes based on the force you apply rather than the terrain you are on.
The handles on the XPO sled can be a little wobbly, and especially at higher resistance levels. While this is not always noticeable, it can affect the quality of a workout if it affects the stability of the athlete.
The back tires on the XPO sled are your average, run of the mill, tubed tires. That means that you have to have a pump handy and you have to have access to the valve stem if the air runs low. Either of these two issues could end a workout. Armored Fitness would be better off if they moved to the now common solid rubber, airless tires. These would hold up better and it would take away the need for the occasional loss of air that all tubed tires have. That said, they are more expensive.
The last thing that could be changed about the XPO sled is that there is no option to drag the sled. If you read the review, you will notice that the resistance comes solely from the front tire by way of a “spring-loaded tensioner.” This device only creates resistance when the front wheel is pushed forward and cannot be duplicated in reverse. Because of this, the machine can only be pushed and not pulled. The manufacturer addressed this issue by saying that there are no plans to change this aspect of the sled. In fact, many of the positives of the XPO would be negated if it was designed to include a pull option and, therefore, it is not in the future plans.
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